Cheapter or Better Alternatives?
Sometimes a traditional textbook fits a class beautifully. Sometimes not.
Students are concerned about outrageous costs.
Faculty are concerned about textbook content not quite matching class goals or lacking multimedia options that might most effectively teach certain concepts.
This guide offers alternatives that may offer flexibility, low cost or both.
Some (quality) tightwad alternatives to pricey textbooks:
- See these options for Open Educational Resources (OER's). These are materials available for free or very low cost through educational consortiums and commercial suppliers.
- Digitized readings from textbooks, articles, and other materials can be placed on Auraria Library Reserves or linked to online learning spaces. Reserves submission form. Reserves FAQ.
- If feasible, consider assigning older edition of textbooks. Or let students know if an older edition is ok.
- Textbook cost comparison sites frequently reveal low costs for purchasing and renting. Even chapter-only rentals may be available.
- Select a more general book as the "textbook." If the Auraria Library doesn't own it, let the Library know you'd like the book ordered for Reserves or the general collection.
Instead of Textbooks
Integrate relevant writings, images, and media into your course by linking to them or embedding them in online learning environments, including Canvas, Blackboard, and D2L, or on a Library guide created for your class.
Many materials supplied by the Library will have unique stable URL's or embed codes. If you can use a hand with selecting or connecting to resources contact an Auraria Librarian. Materials you might link/embed include:
- Journal, magazine, and newspaper articles.
- Specialized online encyclopedia content.
- Books in print or digital format.
- Streaming videos, images, and other multimedia.
- Primary sources.
- Open Educational Resources (OER's),including Open Textbooks, created specifically for college-level learning.
- A search box gateway, via a widget, to the Auraria Library Start My Research search page or access (via a link or widget) to a specific database or collections
In addition to major open educational resource collections, locate more free educational resources by searching the Web and combining a word or phrase describing the topic being taught with one of these keyword combinations:.
- educational resources
- education resources
- open resources
Example: Combining the words educational resources and environment.